With the whole Corona Virus causing interstate borders to be shut for the last few months we’re excited to announce that Fraser Island Tours Resume 11th July!

So what are the details?

Fraser Island Tours Resume 11th July!

After months of closure and the Queensland, New South Wales border being shut for the last few months, Fraser Island tours have unfortunately been on hold.

But following the announcement of the Queensland border reopening on July 10th the first Fraser Island tours will start departing again from July 11th!

Whoop whoop!

At the moment the main options for overnight tours will be the Nomads Fraser Island 2 day, 1 night option, departing every Wednesday and Saturday with both a camping and hostel dorm option available.

Click here for more info and to book your spot!

Pippies Fraser Island Tour (our personal favourite!) is also starting up again from July 24th – departing every Friday

Click here for more info and to book your spot!

These tours will strictly adhere to all the COVID health and safety precautions and as a result numbers are strictly limited.

Fingers crossed more options open up soon – but chat to our travel experts/drop us a WhatsApp or email for all the latest availability for Fraser Island and beyond.

For now though we’re stoked to see that Australia is starting to open up again and we’re looking forward to helping you piece together your perfect Aussie adventure!

Trying to figure out the best Rainbow Beach camping options for your trip to this epic spot in Queensland?

Looking for an epic option to stay before and after your Fraser Island tour?

From free options to campgrounds with all the latest facilities – here’s everything you need to know about heading to Rainbow Beach…

 

The Rainbow Beach Camping Guide

Best time to visit Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach is located in Queensland, Australia, and you can visit any time of the year and experience decent weather all year round.

The summer months between December and February will bring you temperatures between 21C and 35C (70F-102F), and the winter months between June and August produce temperatures between 10C and 22C (50F-72F). When you visit may depend on if you enjoy cooler or warmer temperatures.

Whether you are camping, exploring, or hanging out on the beach, visiting Rainbow Beach in the summer months is an excellent choice. While the temperature is hot, the bush and coastal climate, not to mention the beautiful ocean, can provide welcome shade and areas to cool off.

 

Top things to do in Rainbow Beach

The adventures you can have in Rainbow Beach are plentiful. Whether you enjoy adventures on land or water, there are many activities to choose from.

On the water

Kayaking with dolphins: Take a kayak tour in the ocean waters that are home to hundreds of dolphins, turtles, and other sea creatures.

Surf lessons: While anyone can bring their board and ride the amazing waves of the Queensland coast, you don’t have to know how to surf to enjoy your time on the water. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to surf, this is your chance to have a wonderful experience.

Paddle boarding: If surfing and kayaking aren’t your thing, you can still enjoy some time in the water with stand up paddle boarding. Rent a paddle board for as long as you want, and enjoy the sun, water, sea life, and beautiful scenery.

 

On land

4WD tours: Off-roading can be an exciting adventure that you can do yourself or with your friends and family. There are multiple 4WD tours that take you along the beach and across the sand dunes.

Hiking and walking: The scenery in and around Rainbow Beach is phenomenal, and you can walk the beach, dunes, bush, or over hills and mountains to catch the views of the Queensland coast. If you are up early enough or take an evening stroll, you can catch the sunrise or sunset.

Skydiving: For those who love a thrill, skydiving is here to cater to your needs. For some, a walk on the beach or swim in the water just isn’t enough. Take the plunge over the coast and witness the spectacular views of the colorful sands of Rainbow Beach and its surrounding magnificence.

Horse riding: Whether you are a horse-riding pro or have yet to see a horse this close before, you can take a sunset horse-riding tour and take a calming walk along Rainbow Beach. This horse riding tour is beginner friendly, and the horses are friendly as well.

skydive whitehaven beach whitsundays airlie beach austrlaia backpacker skydive australia

 

Fraser Island From Rainbow Beach

And of course one of the main reasons people head off on a Rainbow Beach camping trip is to hit up one of the best tours on the East Coast – Fraser Island!

The worlds largest sand island is an epic place to explore and there are plenty of Fraser Island tours departing from Rainbow Beach.

Our pick though has to be the 3 day/2 night option with Pippies – which offers great value for money and some awesome camping adventure!

Click here for our full range of Fraser Island tours

 

Free camping spots in and around Rainbow Beach

If you are considering setting up a day camp or camping overnight, here are some free camping spots in and around Rainbow Beach.

Tiaro Memorial Park

Tiaro Memorial Park is a great choice for a free Rainbow Beach camping area, but make sure you get there early in the day if you are visiting during a popular time.

There are about 20 spots on the site, and there are BBQ areas, toilets, drinking water, and convenient lighting around the campgrounds. Kids can play at the nearby park, and pets are allowed, so you can bring your furry friend with you. And if you didn’t bring enough food with you or want to get away from camp for a while, there is a café and other shops nearby.

Petrie Park

Petrie Park is another free Rainbow Beach camping choice that offers campsites near the water and other convenient amenities.

There are a limited number of spots on the site, so like other free campgrounds, you should arrive early enough to claim your spot for the day or overnight. The grounds include toilets, BBQ areas, and are child and pet friendly.

A nice amenity to this campground is being near the water. You can fish from the shore, or you can use the supplied boat ramp to take out your small boat or kayak to enjoy the water or fish with family and friends.

 

Best Rainbow Beach camp sites

Inskip Peninsula Rainbow Beach Camping

The Inskip Peninsula is a great stretch of land that provides four campgrounds to choose from. Each campground offers a variety of amenities and facilities that are tailored to different types of campers.

MV Beagle Camping Area

Price per night: Camping permit ($6.65 per person per night or $26.60 per family per night – two adults and up to six children)

Top facilities: Sheltered camping area near the beach, marine park, recreation area, fishing, campfires. Sandy surfaces, tent camping only, generators allowed, non-flush toilets, bins, open area without defined sites.

MV Natone Camping Area

Price per night: Camping permit ($6.65 per person per night or $26.60 per family per night – two adults and up to six children)

Top facilities: Secluded camping with shady sheltered areas, non-flush toilets on site, tent camping only, campfires allowed, generators allowed, pets allowed on leash. Fish from the beaches or bring a kayak and explore the area by foot or 4WD vehicle.

MV Sarawak Camping Area

Price per night: Camping permit ($6.65 per person per night or $26.60 per family per night – two adults and up to six children)

Top facilities: Largest Inskip camping area with tents, caravans, campervans, and camper trailer camping allowed. Non-flush toilets on site, campfires allowed, generators allowed, and pets allowed on leash. Fish from the beach or relax in the shaded areas of Moreton Bay ash.

SS Dorrigo Camping Area

Price per night: Camping permit ($6.65 per person per night or $26.60 per family per night – two adults and up to six children)

Top facilities: Many amenities at this location, with all kinds of camping allowed, including tents, caravans, campervans, camper trailers, and motorhomes. Non-flush toilets on site, campfires allowed, generators allowed, and pets allowed on leash. Choose a camp site with an ocean view or a sheltered area more inland. Fish, walk, and drive to the recreation area and marine park.

Freshwater Camping

Price per night: Camping permit ($6.65 per person per night or $26.60 per family per night – two adults and up to six children)

Top facilities: There are 60 sites to choose from at this campground, but you cannot book a specific site – first come, first served. Lots of shade, toilets and hot showers, far enough away from the beach to avoid strong winds, shaded and secluded campsites. Use the recreational day-use area and be one with nature in this popular bush camping area. Tens and camper trailers allowed.

Teewah Beach

Price per night: Camping permit ($6.65 per person per night or $26.60 per family per night – two adults and up to six children) as well as a vehicle access permit (about $30-$35 per week)

Top facilities: You can camp on the beach at this popular campground, and you can enjoy an open area without separately defined sites. Camp in a tent next to your vehicle or in the open, or bring your off-road caravan or camper trailer. Camp on sand or grass. No nearby toilets (bring your own), open fires permitted, low-decibel generators allowed, beach access by 4WD vehicles only.

Harry’s Hut Camping

Price per night: Camping permit ($6.65 per person per night or $26.60 per family per night – two adults and up to six children)

Top facilities: This campground is located in the bush and gives you a woodsy feel. You can reach the camping area by walking, 4WD vehicle, or canoe/kayak/small boat. You can camp in a tent or a camper trailer and camp on sand or grass. There is untreated water, toilets, picnic shelter with tables, day-use area, and canoe landing access points. No open fires or generators allowed, and advance books are required, especially for holiday periods.

 

Where to eat in Rainbow Beach

There are plenty of choices of restaurants and other food places in Rainbow Beach. Here are some favorites among locals and visitors.

Arcobaleno on the Beach: Classic Italian food restaurant with a cozy and casual atmosphere and many choices of pizza and pasta.

Rainbow Beach Pizza: Casual pizzeria with other top-quality Italian favorites, with outdoor seating and a casual dining style with great service.

Brent’s Burgers: Casual burger joint that is very child-friendly and great for larger groups of people. Lots of choices on the menu besides burgers, and some terrific sweet potato chips, onion rings, and other fried goodies.

Café Jilarty at Rainbow: Many styles of food at this café and fancier dishes without a higher price. You can find Greek food, Italian food, breakfast lunch and dinner, coffee, smoothies, chips and salad, and at times you can enjoy free live music.

The Deck: Tapas bar and grill with burgers and fries, and other cooked meals. Very casual and friendly place to eat. Catch a football game on the big screen television and enjoy the beer garden with a view.

 

Heading out on a Rainbow Beach camping trip?

What are you most looking forward to?

If you haven’t travelled long term before, packing can be a bit of a nightmare, especially if you’re heading down under for a whole year to work and travel and putting together your Australia packing list.

What do I take?

What do I leave behind?

I don’t have enough space for this!

will I need that!

I have no doubt all of these thoughts will be running through your head at one point or another during the packing process!

So to help you nail your Australia packing list here are the things I recommend you take to the land down under…

Australia Packing List – What You Need & What You Don’t

What You Think You Need – Half It!

In my experience less is more when it comes to travelling.

A well-used saying about packing is to lay out all your clothes and money on the bed – then take away half the clothes and double the money!

And it’s pretty true!

When I first went to Australia I took a 60+20L rucksack.

It was totally rammed and a nightmare to repack, let alone fit new stuff into! I barely used half the stuff in it, and by the time I’d left Australia 12 months later I’d given heaps of it away or donated it to charity shops.

So here’s what I’d suggest for your Australia packing list, or for any long term travels, really.

The stuff on the list might not seem like enough, but remember: if you REALLY need those extra few t-shirts, dresses or shoes you can always pick up some new stuff in Australia, and by then you’ll be more aware of how much spare space you have in your bag!

 

Clothing

Clothing is obviously the biggest item when it comes to your Australia packing list and will be what takes up the most amount of space too.

Keep it streamline, remember you don’t need pack for every occasion and you can always pick up items along the way too – especially as the seasons change…

  • 7 x t-shirts
  • 2 x boardies
  • 2 x shorts
  • 2 x flannel shirts
  • 1 x jumper
  • 7 x underwear
  • 2 x socks
  • 1 x flipflops (aka thongs!)
  • 1 x closed shoes
  • 1 x trousers
  • Sunglasses

 

Yup, clothing wise I’ve packed pretty light, but remember it’s easier to do washing more often than it is to lug a huge backpack full of stuff around! From a guy’s — and many girls’ — perspective, this should be enough to tick over.

If you do want to pack extras, keep them aside and figure out if you have enough space after your preliminary pack.

 

Electronics

Like it or not technology is now part of the travelling adventure and I’ve no doubt you’ll all be taking some gadgets along for the ride. Again streamline it and if you’re buying new travel gear investing in tech that’s lightweight and compact is the way forward…

  • Phone + charger
  • Laptop + charger
  • Camera + charger
  • Memory card
  • External hard drive
  • Travel plug adaptor

 

Not everyone is going to have a laptop in tow, but I’d suggest taking a hard drive anyway so you can backup your photos along the way and also copy some movies and photos from your travel buddies!

Toiletries

These should be pretty simple…

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Nail clippers
  • Paracetamol/ibuprofen/your painkiller of choice
  • Bodywash (travel size)
  • Towel (travel towels are a good start but you’ll probably buy a proper one

out there!)

 

…things like shampoo, conditioner and suncream can be bought easily at any supermarket in Australia, so there’s no point dragging it halfway across the world.

Of course, girls, you might have some extras in your makeup bag and what not, but these are the bare minimum essentials I’d recommend everyone pack.

 

Extras

If you find you have some spare space these are some other useful items I’d suggest packing. You could also buy them once you’re out in Oz.

  • Snorkel and mask
  • Multi-plug socket (so you only need one travel plug for multiple devices!)
  • Basic first aid kit

 

What Backpack?

I’ve tested out a heap of backpacks over the last few years and there are a lot of great brands to choose from.

Currently though I’m using the Osprey Farpoint 40+10L and it’s the perfect balance of size, comfort and build.

Admittedly it’s not the cheapest option on the market, but if you’re looking to travel light and with a solid bag it’s a great investment for your travels.

Again the key point with your Australia packing list here is not to fill all the space simply because you have it!

Give yourself some extra empty space for picking things up along the way too – there’s nothing worse than realising you can’t buy that awesome keepsake because you simply dont have enough room!

 

 

Are you heading to Oz soon?

What’s on your Australia packing list?

One of our favourite, off the beaten track spots along the East Coast of Australia has to be Yamba – and there are plenty of things to see and do in Yamba to convince you it’s worth adding into your trip!

From world class waves to dolphins and coastal walks, it’s time to wind down with some chilled out Yamba vibes…

 

Awesome Things To Do In Yamba

Learn To Surf

With Yamba life revolving around the beach one of the most popular things to do in Yamba is to learn to surf! The rolling, sandy bottom beach breaks are one some of the best spots to learn to surf in Australia.

Turners Beach is a favourite, with its sheltered conditions and is the favourite spot of Surf Camp Down Under – who we highly recommend!

Check out our Yamba Surf Packages here

 

Or Push Your Surf Skills

alongside learning to surf, Yamba is a hot spot for experienced surfers too. So if you’re looking for some of the best and most uncrowded spots in Australia you’re in luck!

The breakwater at Turners, open A frames at Pippies or of course the famed point break at Angourie are just 3 of the many spots around town.

All the surf spots in Yamba can handle a solid swell, so be prepared for some pumping surf if the conditions allow!

 

Enjoy A Sunset Sailing Trip

With incredible sunsets, what better spot to enjoy them from than on the water? There are plenty of options for hiring boats in Yamba (the marina is a popular leisure sailing spot) and also a whole array of local, organised tours you can jump on too.

Kick back with a cold beer and keep and eye out for the local dolphins too!

 

Hit The Coastal Walks

If you fancy a stroll then Yamba has some incredible coastal walks you can take advantage of. Whether you want a quick loop from town up to the lighthouse or a full blown day trip out to the point at Angourie, make sure you pack plenty of water, sunscreen and of course you camera too!

 

Go Fishing

With so much epic coastline there’s plenty of scope for an epic day of fishing in Yamba too. Again hire a boat and head out on the open water or enjoy some beach or cliff fishing all around town.

There are a few bait shops and fishing shops as you come into Yamba so stock up for the day and cast out.

 

 

Relax On Some Empty Beaches

Australia is famous for its beaches, but you might find many of them (such as Bondi or Byron Bay) are actually pretty busy. Yamba on the other hadn’t serves up plenty of slices of sand you can enjoy with hardly a sole in sight – especially if you have a car or campervan to explore the local area.

 

Watch The Dolphins

Yamba has a pretty big local dolphin population so make sure you keep an eye out for them whenever you’re near the ocean – especially in the surf! On elf the best places to spot them is around sunset on the breakwater by Turners Beach as they follow the fishing boats!

 

The Best Pub Balcony In Australia?!

If you fancy a cold beer, wine or even a cheeky pub meal then make sure you head up to the Pacific Hotel – which has probably the best pub balcony we’ve ever chilled out on!

With epic views cliff views across Main Beach and the surrounding coastline you’ll be hard pushed for a better afternoon drinking spot!

 

Tackle Shanes Legendary Tour

For backpackers heading to Yamba we’d highly recommend a stay with Shane and Justin at Yamba YHA – who will instantly make you feel like family! And as part of your stay make sure you sign up to Shanes Legendary Tour, we wont divulge much more than that…just trust us!

 

Take A Dip In The Blue and Green Pools

Fancy cooling off? Well the Blue Pools are an awesome spot to head for some freshwater swimming. Both also offer some cliff jumping – but we’d recommend sticking to the small ones at the Green Pools as they’re much safer!

 

Get Some Pics Of The Lighthouse

Although not as impressive as spots like Cape Byron Lighthouse or some on the Great Ocean Road, Yamba Lighthouse is still worth a visit and a good spot to stop when you’re heading along the coast trails too!

 

Got any other things to do in Yamba you’d recommend?

Looking for our current terms & conditions including updated cancellation policies, date changes and travel credit? Find our full terms and conditions here. The Covid-19 updates are at the bottom!

 

UPDATE 1st June 2020:

Internal travel restrictions within Australia (especially within the state you’re currently located) are now relaxing, and many of our suppliers are starting to reopen slowly from 1st June – contact us if you’d like to book any trips or chat about what’s on offer!

 

The Corona Virus pandemic is sweeping across the world at a rapid pace and all over the world peoples travel plans are being affected. So if you’re currently on the road or have an upcoming trip with us we wanted to give you a little bit of advice and assure that our team is on hand to help you out!

 

Can You Still Travel To Australia?

At the moment, in theory yes – Australia is still open for business, however there is now a mandatory isolation period for all arrivals (including Australians) of 14 days. So if you do decide to travel to Australia, you’ll need to be prepared for that.

UPDATE 19TH MARCH 2020:

Australia has now stopped entry for all international travellers (Australian and New Zealand residents not included) from 9pm on 20th March.

 

What About Elsewhere?

At the moment, there are travel restrictions in place for pretty much all destinations, with New Zealand having a mandatory 14 day self-isolation period, Sri Lanka suspending all incoming flights, and Indonesia no longer issuing visas on arrival without health certificates.

The situation is changing daily and even hourly, so always check before you travel and stay up to date with the situation

UPDATE: Many countries are no longer accepting international arrivals (including Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and beyond)

 

What if you’re already in Australia?

If you’re already in Australia, pretty much all our suppliers are operating as usual, however they’re taking extra measures to help with safety and many are now running smaller groups as part of this.

As always please call 24 hours before your tours to reconfirm them as things are changing on a daily basis.

UPDATE 1: At the moment all trips and tours are on hold, please contact us to change your dates FOC or to arrange a refund. Hopefully things will clear up soon!

UPDATE 2: Internal travel restrictions within Australia (especially within the state you’re currently located) are now relaxing, and many of our suppliers are starting to reopen slowly from 1st June – contact us if you’d like to book any trips or chat about what’s on offer!

 

What If You Need To Cancel?

We understand that many of our customers who are planning on travelling or who are already travelling (both in Australia, New Zealand, and beyond) are affected by travel restrictions or may want to return home due to the COVID-19/Corona Virus pandemic.

Our team are working hard to make sure that we help you out as much as possible – so if you need to cancel or have any questions, you can email us on hello@rtwbackpackers.com or WhatsApp on +44 740 182 7447 and we’ll be happy to help.

As you can imagine though, we’re getting quite a few requests at the moment so please be patient and we’ll be there for you ASAP!

In the mean time guys, please be safe, look after each other, and take precautions to keep yourselves healthy.

 

From Chris and the RTW Backpackers team

 

 

Last updated: 19th March 2020

Please note things are changing on an hourly basis so check with your government for the latest travel restrictions before/if you decide to travel

On the hunt for the best Great Barrier Reef Tours and not sure what options are out there or how to pick?

We’re not surprised – the Barrier Reef is one of the top bucket list ticks for any Australia trip and there are heaps of options to choose from. Day trips, dive boats, dive courses, scenic flights…a combination of them…it’s all on offer!

So to help you decide which Great Barrier Reef tour is best for you here’s a run down of the options and our personal favourites…

 

The Best Great Barrier Reef Tours – Which Should You Pick?

Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling

From $140

Great Barrier Reef snorkelling tours are by far the most popular ways to see the Barrier Reef – which run out of Cairns daily (weather permitting!) and these are the best choice for those on a limited time frame but also those looking for a budget friendly way to check out the barrier reef too.

Our personal favourite for is a Great Barrier Reef day trip with the Deep Sea Divers Den – with their snorkel package coming in at $140AUD, which is great value for money.

You’ll kick back on their beautiful and spacious boat, enjoy unlimited snorkelling at a variety of dive sites and feast on their lunchtime buffet.

If you’re looking for something even more memorable and have a bit of extra budget to play with then the “Get High & Dive Package” is the way to go.

This epic day trip includes unlimited snorkelling, an introductory scuba dive and even a scenic helicopter flight back to Cairns – it doesn’t get much more action packed than that!

down under cruise and dive barrier reef scenic flight day trip cairns australia

 

Diving The Great Barrier Reef – Day Trips

From $210

For anyone interested in scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef holds heaps of appeal. For experienced divers it’s a huge bucket list tick and it’s also the ideal place to try scuba diving for the first time with an introductory scuba dive.

Again our pick of the bunch is with Deep Sea Divers Den who have a great range of dive moorings to choose from, a friendly crew and even an underwater photographer who’ll help snap your next Facebook profile picture next to Nemo!

Their dive trips include all gear, however we strongly recommend paying the extra for a dive guide – you’ll get even more out of your time underwater.

For those looking for an introductory scuba dive their crew of experienced and certified instructors will teach you all the basics needed to be safe under the ocean and guide you around. With a max depth of 12m it’s the perfect way to test out if scuba diving is for you and discover some of the amazing marine life that calls this part of Australia home.

cairns package deal australia great barrier reef east coast backpacker

 

Learn To Scuba Dive On The Great Barrier Reef & Cairns

From $599

And of course if scuba diving is something you’re really keen on why not learn to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef and do your open water dive course in Cairns, as well as ticking off a Great Barrier Reef tour?

For those on a tighter budget you can complete your course based out of Cairns which takes 4 days and includes 2 Great Barrier Reef tours, complete with diving.

But if you want to go all out why not combine it with a 1 or 2 night Barrier Reef live aboard and spend a couple of nights on the reef?

Either way you’ll work your way through the theory lessons, written exam and pool skills before putting your knowledge into practice with the open water modules.

On successful completion you’ll be a fully certified open water scuba diver with a world recognised certification!

Yewwwwww!

great barrier reef open water advanced dive course live aboard australia cairns

 

Diving The Great Barrier Reef – Liveaboards

From $560

For those already certified scuba divers and wanting to make the most of their time in Cairns a Great Barrier Reef Dive Liveaboard is the ultimate option – allowing you to squeeze in even more dives and even some night diving too.

Trust us, jumping into the water with a torch and surrounded by reef sharks is something you’ll never forget for all the right reasons!

Sure it’s not the most budget friendly of all the Great Barrier Reef tours on offer, but it’s certainly the way to go if you want to pack in heaps of diving!

If you’re really serious about diving and have the budget then a longer trip out to the Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs is well worth the splash (pun intended!) where you’ll discover pristine dive sites, less crowds and a whole array of incredible marine life – including the famous Giant Potato Cod.

open water dive course live aboard great barrier reef cairns australia

 

Scenic Flight Over The Great Barrier Reef

From $249

Don’t fancy getting wet or looking for some alternative Great Barrier Reef tours that check out this natural wonder from a different perspective? Well a scenic flight over the Great Barrier Reef will pack your camera full of incredible photos and give you a whole new appreciation of the vast size of this natural wonder.

From a quick scenic helicopter flight to a a longer scenic aeroplane flight there are a number of options for all time frames and budgets.

Keep your eyes peeled for manta rays cruising along the currents, turtles chilling on the reefs and of course the annual whale migration too.

 

Skydive Over The Great Barrier Reef

From $275

If you like your day trips with a bit more adrenaline then why not take in views across the reef from a skydive at Mission Beach?

Available as a day trip from Cairns or of course from Mission Beach itself, it’s the most popular jump zone in Australia for a reason!

With a guaranteed beach landing and stunning views across the coastline, ocean and reef this is certainly one of our favourite bucket list items that the East Coast has to offer!

tandem skydive mission beach australia cairns

 

Which Great Barrier Reef Tours will you be doing?

So you’ve booked your flights, you’ve got your visa all sorted and you’re super stoked to be visiting Australia for the first time!

You could just land and wing it from there, but trust me when I say that after a long haul flight covering more than a handful of time zones you’ll be in no mood to lug your backpack around whatever city you land in trying to find a place to stay.

So take my advice and prepare a little!

There are a few things that you can sort before you land that will make your arrival heaps smoother and stress free. You want to start your Australian adventure on the right foot and enjoy the first days of your trip.

 

Visiting Australia For The First Time? 5 Helpful Things You’ll Need To Know!

Airport Pickup

The first thing you’re going to need to deal with when you arrive in Oz is the airport, or more specifically how the hell you’re going to leave it!
Some destinations, such as Cairns and Melbourne, have great shuttle bus options that are the cheapest and easiest way to get into the city. Many can drop you at some central accommodation.

Check out the following sites for some more info:

Cairns – Cairns Airport Shuttle Brisbane – Con-X-ion

Byron Bay – Byron Easy Bus Sydney – Airport Connect Melbourne – Sky Bus

Sydney, on the other hand, has a great train service that runs direct from the airport into the centre of the city and it’s super easy and convenient, especially if you’re staying at Wakeup or Sydney Central YHA, which are right opposite!

There’s no need to book in advance and it’ll set you back around $17AUD one way.

RTW travel airport tips

 

Accommodation

Let’s face it: you’re going to be pretty overwhelmed, tired and not functioning at top speed when you land, so you’ll be wanting have a bed lined up pretty fast!

With that in mind it pays to pre-book your accommodation before you land. You’ll get the best rates and hopefully it’ll mean getting your hostel of choice.

But don’t just book one night (unless you have solid plans to bounce the next day).

Book two or more.

There’s no worse feeling than getting woken up on your first full day in Australia at 10am by hostel staff telling your sad jet lagged self it’s time to check out!

We can book a huge range of hostels all across Australia so chat to our travel experts to find the right fit for you – whether that’s partying at Nomads or enjoying a more chilled vibe at YHA.

backpacker hostel accomodaiton australia east coast

 

Travel Passes

If you’re landing in Australia I’m going to assume that you already kind of know where you want to head, or you’re reading this blog to help you figure that out. In which case, good times!

If you figure out your plan of attack before landing you can also get your travel options sorted before you land too, which knocks one thing to worry about off the list and gives you more time to enjoy the Aussie sunshine!

Those opting for the likes of Greyhound Australia, Oz Experience or Stray Australia can book your pass open-dated way before arriving.

If you’re hiring a car or campervan via the likes of Jucy, Travellers Autobarn or Britz, securing your dates before you arrive will mean you get your car/van of choice.

Pre-booking usually saves you a heap of dollar too!

Check out our range of Australia travel passes here

greyhound whimit bus pass australia backpacker east coast travel

 

Phone Networks

If you’re going to be in Australia for a while it can be well worth grabbing a local SIM card if your phone is unlocked. The main phone networks in Australia are Optus, Vodafone, Virgin and Telstra.

I went with Optus, as they gave the best plan on mobile data for my iPhone. I went for the $2 daily bundle, which offered unlimited calls and text within Oz and 500MB of data per day, with the option of an auto bump to 1GB of data for an extra $2.

There are heaps of different pay as you go plans with all the networks, so shop around a bit and find the one that works best for you.

 

If You’re On A Working Holiday Visa

If you’re visiting Australia on a working holiday visa there are a few essentials that you’ll need to sort to kickstart your year working in Oz – some of which can be done before you even touch down, or simply sort them once you’re in Australia.

These include

  • Bank Account (personally I’d recommend Commonwealth for this)
  • Superfund
  • Tax file number
  • SIM Card (see above for my advice on using Optus)
  • A polished CV

 

Arrival Packages

Of course if you don’t fancy booking all this stuff individually, there are a number of companies that offer Australia Arrival Packages, which bundle together everything you’ll need to get started.

Boom, easy as!

Check out the Sydney Arrival Package here

Or the Melbourne Arrival Package here

working holiday visa melbourne package intro welcome to travel backpackert australia work visa

 

Are you visiting Australia soon?

Anything else you’d like to know about?

 

Heading to Australia soon? Well Sydney has to be on your to do list, and our Sydney Backpacker Guide is quick and easy way to discover the best places to stay and what to do in Sydney!

Often mistaken as the capital of Australia (that’s Canberra if you didn’t already know!) Sydney is easily the most famous city in Oz and to be honest I don’t think I really need to sell you on visiting it!

Sydney is also many travellers first tastes of Australia as it’s busy international airport caters for flights worldwide and as a result it’s full of fresh travellers beginning their East Coast Adventure, so it’s the perfect place to meet heaps of new backpacker buddies to explore with.

It’s home to some of the countries most iconic sights too – with the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge topping the list, you can’t travel to Australia and not get a selfie in front of them!

But you knew that already hey?!

Sydney is much more than just those two structures though, as you’d expect from Australias biggest city there are plenty of things to keep you busy.

Whether you’re mingling with Wildlife at Toronga Zoo or Sydney Wildlife Park (the latter is my personal choice between the two) chilling over at Manly or taking a day trip to the gorgeous Blue Mountains as far as cities go Sydney isn’t half bad!

 

The Sydney Backpacker Guide – Where To Stay & What To Do

State = New South Wales

2638km from Cairns

Recommended Stay – At Least 4 nights

 

Xmas And New Year In Sydney

And of course it’s also a hugely popular destination for travellers putting together their xmas and new year plans too – with a beach BBQ on Bondi for xmas day and the world famous Sydney Harbour firework display on new years eve.

Just keep in mind if you are descending on Sydney for this period of the year it totally pays to book early, with many hostels booking out up to 6 months in advance – so don’t leave it too late!

Also if you’re heading up the coast after new year be aware that a flood of travellers will be doing the same so bus departures and the next couple of stops up the coast (most notably Byron Bay) tend to book out quickly too as a result, so plan ahead!

 

Best Things To Do In Sydney

  • Grab a photo of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge
  • New Year at the world famous Harbour firework display
  • Chill on Bondi Beach (bonus points for a xmas BBQ here!)
  • Complete the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk
  • Meet the locals at Sydney Wildlife Park
  • Or head across the water to Toronga Zoo
  • Grab a sunset and amazing views at the Sydney Sky Tower
  • Learn more about this iconic city on the Sydney Hop on, Hop Off Tour Bus
  • Enjoy a cocktail at Darling Harbour
  • Take a day trip to the Blue Mountains

Check out our epic range of Sydney tour here

 

Best Sydney Backpackers Accomodation

  • WakeUp! Sydney Central
  • Sydney Harbour YHA
  • Sydney Central YHA
  • Base Backpackers
  • WakeUp! Bondi

 

Top Bars/Clubs

  • Opera Bar (right by the Opera House, one of the best beer gardens in the world!)
  • Side Bar (underneath Wakeup Hostel)
  • World Bar (some of the cheapest drinks deals in town)
  • Beachroad Hotel (Bondi)

 

Are you heading to Sydney soon?

What’s on your list of things to do?